LABOR groups in Negros Occidental Monday joined the simultaneous national protests calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to sign the executive order (EO) “absolutely” abolishing contractualization.
At least 30 members of Partido Manggagawa (PM)-Negros and Negros Farmworkers and Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Producers’ Federation (Nefarb) trooped to the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Provincial Office in Bacolod City and staged a picket to express dismay over the long-overdue promise of President Rodrigo Duterte to stop “endo” or end of contract scheme.
Priscilla Goco, secretary general of PM-Negros, said various labor groups in the country already conducted three dialogues with the President yet the latter has not yet signed the EO they drafted since last year that would put an end to contractualization.
She said Department Order (DO) 174, signed by Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III last year, provides “prohibitions” against contractualization but does not totally abolish such employment scheme.
“Based on the EO that we drafted, there should be no subcontracting. Meaning, workers should be employed directly by the principal employers,” Goco said, adding that “we voted for the President during the elections, it is now time for us to demand for his campaign promises.”
DO No. 174 sets stricter guidelines for contractualization, and superseding DO No. 18 providing the original guidelines on contracting and subcontracting.
Labor groups had earlier slammed the Labor department, citing that the new rules still allow “legal” contractualization.
Under which, labor-only contracting, or the practice of merely recruiting or supplying workers to perform a job or work for an employer, is prohibited.
It limits “endo” through prohibition of continuous hiring of workers under a repeated contract of short duration by contractor and subcontractor like manpower agency.
The guidelines prohibit the “cabo” system and contracting work from an in-house agency or cooperative due to a strike and those performed by union leaders to ensure employees’ rights to self-organization.
Also, the Dole will not allow requiring employees to sign shorter-term contract and compelling agency-hired workers to do jobs being performed by regular employees of the principal company, it stated.
During the picket, Goco said they were able to have a short “talk” with Dole-Negros Occidental head Mary Agnes Capigon. They then provided a copy of the EO to Capigon.
Goco said the President had earlier promised to sign the drafted EO in January this year.
“Labor groups will again have another dialogue on March 15, we hope to get a positive decision from the President by this time,” she added.
Simultaneous rallies were also held at the Dole Offices in Manila, Laguna, Cebu, Iloilo City, and Davao.
These protests are also aimed at calling on the agency to act on major labor disputes at firms like LakePower Converter, Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines, and Philippine Airlines.